Handover C’tte Unsettles Akeredolu’s Commissioners, Special Advisers

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• Gov may announce cabinet dissolution

• As appointees lobby for reappointment
James Sowole in Akure

Members of the Ondo State Executive Council are jittery about their fate as the state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu constituted a Handover Strategy and Implementation Committee to review their performance, THISDAY has learnt.
Findings have also revealed that the governor had concluded a plan to dissolve the State Executive Council any moment from now in preparation for the effective takeoff of his second-term administration.

Multiple sources disclosed this plan to THISDAY yesterday, observing that the governor would soon direct all his political appointees that were not in the cabinet rank to properly hand over before his inauguration.

Akeredolu had constituted a Handover Strategy and Implementation Committee, a six-man committee set up to ensure that all commissioners, special advisers and other political appointees properly hand over before inauguration.
Among others, the committee was mandated to coordinate the hand over process; ensure government’s records are appropriately archived; facilitate the off-boarding of current administration personnel and ease the on-boarding process of incoming personnel.

The committee, chaired by the Head of Service, Mr. Dare Aragbaiye, comprises Dr. Patrick Tolani, Ms Cecilia Akintomide, Mr. Ayo Sotinrin, Mr. Omololu Elegbe and Mr. Babajide Akeredolu as members.
With the committee in place, THISDAY learnt that all political appointees, especially members of the State Executive Council have become apprehensive wondering whether they would have a role to play in the new government that will come into force on February 24.

A government source told THISDAY that some commissioners were already apprehensive of their fate, considering the terms of reference of the committee, which started work immediately after inauguration last month.

The source noted that the state economy might not allow the governor to accommodate a large number of political appointees in the second term considering the state’s undue exposure to debt.
According to the Debt Management Office, the state’s debt profile has increased from N68.3 billion in December 2016 to N73.9 billion in June 2019

Some political appointees, who privately spoke with THISDAY, however claimed that they all worked to ensure that Akeredolu secured the ticket of the party and won the October 10, 2020 governorship poll.
They referred to the votes Akeredolu garnered in the election in their respective units, wards and local governments, to justify their claim for deserving reappointment.

But the fear of losing out in the power game compelled some commissioners, special advisers and senior special assistants to lobby a senior female aide of the governor believed to have some influence on the governor.

Dousing tension about the mandate of the six-man committee, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo said the committee was constituted to recommend and advise the government on result-oriented structural processes and practices for existing MDAs.

He added that the committee would also set Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for returning and new appointees and MDAs as well as develop a baseline for all sectors to serve as a benchmark for improvement.
He said the committee would carry out systematic review of the operations of the administration in the last four years with a view to evaluating its performance and to identifying areas of service improvement.

He said the committee was mandated “to develop a new agenda for the incoming administration focusing on performance-based income generation strategy as well as formulating smart service delivery across government departments and agencies of government.”